Chennai, April 30 (BPNS)
The authorities at the international airports in Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchu, and Coimbatore airports are on alert after the seizure of exotic pets including 22 snakes including full grown python, and a chameleon from a woman passenger who arrived from Kuala Lumpur.
Customs and DRI officials have deployed special squads in all four airports and extra vigil is in place in the four airports after the seizure of the exotic pets.
Green Cornsnakes, Mexican black kingsnakes, green anacondas and chameleons were also seized from the woman’s checked-in bag and separate suitcases.
Customs officials intercepted the woman after specific inputs on her arrival and on the exotic pets that she was carrying with her.
Pet traders have after a long time sent contraband from Malaysia rather than from Thailand which was earlier the hot spot for smuggling of exotic pets.
Sources in the airport told IANS that the snakes are being smuggled as they don’t need food and even ventilation for survival and there are tips that more such smuggling of exotic species would take place through Tamil Nadu airports.
Customs officials said that airports in Tamil Nadu are targeted by smugglers as passengers from far eastern countries like Malaysia and Thailand to India are mostly from Tamil Nadu. The smugglers, according to the customs officials have tried a different airport to mislead the officials at Chennai.
According to officials five seizures of exotic species have been made since January 1, 2023, from Chennai airport.